Archive | July, 2013

Weekly Wrap-Up Thing 11: Augmented reality

30 Jul

Apologies for this late wrap-up. Totally didn’t realise it was my week.

However I’m really glad that it’s my turn, as this has given me an opportunity to reflect on the bright and sometimes scary future with augmented reality.

Let’s start by checking on Twitter:


This video shared by Katherine @Kraznozem is a great example of our future with augmented reality.

While watching this, I was awed, amazed and a little freaked out about the massive potential augmented reality could play in our future.

Already Google Glass has shown this reality is closer than we expect. As this article points out, there are already fears and risks associated with Google’s new tool. Like every other generation, “grouches” will fear new technologies. The article also points out that wearbable lenses that overlay data and record-video is a decades-old idea in the minds of science fiction writers. As this idea becomes more of a reality, David Brin noted in the article there could be temptations to legislate against it, so as to protect people’s privacy. However, Brin also pointed out that innovation always out paces regulation and therefore technology should be freely available to everyone. This allows everyone to be on the same level playing field instead of the tool just being accessible to governments or a select few.

Katherine has been a prolific sharer last week. Not satisfied with sharing the above video and the mentioned article above, she also gave us examples of cases where augmented reality has been experimented with.

From History Space, an app which allows tourist to Northern Ireland’s iconic tourist attractions to add new forms of interpretive content enabling the visitor to engage and be immerse in the history of the site in innovative and exciting ways.
To a story from SUNY Canton Southworth Library Learning Commons where they are experimenting with sharing content, resources and video presentations through strategically placed placards and QR codes around the library to enhance visitor experience within the library.

Want to create music with physical objects? Now it is possible by moving an object closer or farther from one another to change the pitch of a sound. Maybe enhance a story which incorporates part story, part game and part educational toy with interactive 4D blocks. All in this site. From this site, I found DAQRI, a company that makes all this happen. Check out their homepage video. It shows all the possibilities with augmented reality.

Other tweets include:

Cath Sheard @KiwiLibrarian
Cath finds it challenging to create actionable activities for augmented reality and it’s overloading her brain from thinking about it.

Anna Williamson @Anna_is_great
Says her 4 year old loves the Star Walk app on her iPad.

Lee Rowe @LeeRowe
Lee tried the Junaio app and loved it.

While bloggers such as:

Cathy Kelso @ironshush
Talks about her experimental session with a few augmented reality apps with colleagues. They played with Wikitude, Floodlines, Anatomy 4D, Augment and String. Although at first she thought the concept was gimicky, she became a convert when she had a chance to play with it.

Renee Stokes @stokesrenee
Renee shares her experience with a free augmented reality app from an Apple app store where it allows her to choose a furniture, move it around and see how it’ll look in her living room before she decides to purchase it. She also had Lara from Tomb Raider checking out where her TV is.

Final Thoughts
I believe augmented reality has huge potential and we are only scraping the tip of the ice berg. As the technology matures and start-ups become more experienced with creating applications for its use, we will see potentials only imagined in science fiction.

I think this area is still in its early stages and those who can successfully experiment and utilise this tool successfully will be seen as innovators and pioneers. Therefore if your institution is keen to be seen as an innovative organisation, augmented reality could be something you could try.

If I’ve missed mentioning anyone else who have contributed in last weeks discussions or posts about augmented reality, I’d like to apologies again as this was quite a rush wrap-up. I’ll ensure to be better prepared for my next wrap-up.

Signing off – Mark @E_venturer

From Abigail and Kate: Thanks for that wrap-up post Mark – that was great! 🙂

Thing 12 : Angry Birds, Wordfeud and disturbing the Quiet carriage.

29 Jul

social gamers & siblings  - _MG_0983
Social Gamers & Siblings by Shawn Drelinger via CC license on Flickr

We love games, we really  do, games were mobile long before the invention of the telephone.

 In the past we had decks of cards, travel chess, dice, and things that only need a social aspect and some imagination, it was only a matter of time before they became a part of our mobile connected lifestyle.

Why do we play? If you watch a good animal documentary there’s something about games when we are young and learning all our life lessons by beating the snot out of our siblings, so there’s probably something in that, after all who am I to argue with David Attenborough?

The reality is we now play so many games that there is a social label for us; Gamers.

Sure, there’s lots of research on the pros and cons of gaming, some say that a puzzle a day keeps the doctor away and others say we need to keep an eye out for kids in trenchcoats.

Regardless of which way you lean in the debate, games aren’t going away. It’s part of who we are. Games are Fun, games can be Social, games can be improve your brain, games can have you wearing a diaper at 3am with a horned helmet and a red bull addiction.

It’s big business, are we going to be part of it libraries?

We are, after all, shifting our focus in so many libraries from knowledge repository to community space, do we need to look at gaming as part of a community need?

Looking at the public use computers in my public library, there’s a lot of people using the facilities to write a resume but there are lots connecting to each other through games.

Anyway nuff said, as Duke Nukem said “Come get some”.



THINKING POINTS – I stole these from ‘s post here

  • Kids and mobile games – what’s popular? How can you find out? Could you integrate some of these games into your library’s programs for children?
  • If you could develop a game for mobile devices, what would it be? We’ve already encountered several apps that can be used to gamify aspects of your library service (eg. SCVNGR, geocaching)
  • National Parks New South Wales, Australia, has developed an iPad app as part of their Wilderquest program for children – could your library develop an app?
  • Could you use games in programs at your library?  eg. designing games using Game Salad


  • Tell us your favourite game in a comment on our FB page!
  • If you want to go for gold, challenge one other person – maybe a colleague or family member – to play that same game…

From Abigail and Kate: This excellent introduction post was written by Aaron Trenorden – thank you 😉 Next week is our catch-up week and marks the half-way point of the course. Thanks so much for your continued enthusiasm, questions, and ideas; it’s fantastic learning with all of you!

Thing 11 : Augmented reality

23 Jul

This week we are giving you Mylees’s post  Don’t forget to go to their site for more great information on all the things!

Abbreviated as AR,  augmented reality is the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device (eg. through a smartphone camera).

This video gives you a quick introduction to some of its potential.

Perhaps you’ve heard about a recent example,  Google Glasses  are location aware, computerised eyeglasses  that will display information to the side of what you’re viewing.  There are quite a few AR applications that could be employed in library environments and in this Thing we’d like you to explore some of the possibilities:




  • Could the wayfinding in your library environment be improved with AR? Would an information literacy guided tour of your library be improved by including AR technology?
  • Could you use an AR app like Lookator to make it easy for students to find the wifi hotspots on campus?
  • Is there complex equipment in your library? Perhaps a video demonstration could provide assistance to customers if it were available at the point of need via AR?
  • Do you serve clients from different language backgrounds?  Could you create an AR guide in their preferred language to help them orient to the library environment and services?
  • Are you engaging with your community to plan a new library space?  Could you let them move the furniture around using an AR app like Augment [iOS version andAndroid  version]?
  • Could you overlay local history film and audio clips into your local environment using an AR app?
  • What would your summer reading club be like if you incorporated AR features?

Weekly Wrap-Up Thing 10: Social Reading – Goodreads and Library Thing

23 Jul

It was another fairly quiet week on the ANZmThings front, although it did seem that quite a lot of people were willing to try out LibraryThing and Goodreads (or resurrect old accounts)…is everyone starting to feel the weight of the mid-year slump? Or perhaps we are all busy trying to catch up on the interesting ‘Things’ we have come in contact with over the past 11 weeks…has it been 11 weeks!? How time flies!

It seems that the majority of people (myself included) have used Goodreads and are quite the fans, speaking from a personal experience, I love the ‘Recommendation’ aspect of Goodreads, although it certainly doesn’t help my funds.

There seemed to be a consensus that Goodreads is a great personal network for reading, while LibraryThing provides a variety of ‘extras’ that can help libraries, particularly smaller libraries, organise their collections.

And it seems that many of us would like to see LibraryThing develop an app, rather than simply a mobile site. One of the most convenient aspects of Goodreads (in my humble opinion) is the book scanner, using the Goodreads app you can simple scan a books barcode and it is saved into your ‘to-read’ list, or wherever you would like to place it, and excellent tool if you can’t afford all those great books that are tempting you, or are researching for your library.

This week a lot of us had fun with “What Reader Species Are You?” (I’m a little ashamed to admit that I’m definitely “The Compulsive Book Buyer).

It was also interesting to see Goodreads information on the “most abandoned books”.

@stokesrenee had a great post on her blog about her reflections on Goodreads and LibraryThing and led us to another interesting article on “LibraryThing vs Goodreads” (Goodreads comes out on top on this article…what do you guys think?).

@SarahJLisle had a great post on Social Reading and why she finds it so useful. She also pointed out a book that she feels all librarians should read: (also available on Goodreads, but I feel as if I’ve given Goodreads a lot of space in this post).

@luvviealex gave us a look at her personal profiles on LibraryThing and Goodreads,

a great way to compare the differences between the two.

Final Thoughts:

It would appear that most people who contributed in the discussion this week agree that Goodreads and LibraryThing are great tools, particularly to keep track of the many, many books out there. They both have their pros and cons and it seems that it is a matter of playing around with these tools to find out what best suits your library and personal needs.

It was great learning about Goodreads and LibraryThing this week, and seeing people’s opinions and uses of these great Social Reading tools.

I love connecting with different readers, so feel free to add me on Goodreads.

-Laura @lor_rahh

Books, Books and Books

22 Jul

We asked last week what non-fiction, work related book you would recommend to others doing the ANZ 23 Mobile Things program.

Below is what you told us.  If you think of any others let us know on twitter, facebook or in the comments.

Dewey the Library Cat

The Atlas of New Librarianship

Five Billion Sold: The Amazing Facts Behind the Fiction

The World’s Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette’s, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family

Graph Paper for Your Copier

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness

The Leadership Challenge

The Winter of Our Disconnect


Weekly Wrapup – Thing 9: QR Codes

16 Jul

What do ANZ 23 Mobile Things peeps think about QR Codes?

The week was pretty quiet, but then it’s quite possible that other people are in the same boat that I’m in, in that you’re several weeks behind on the 23 Mobile Things.  Or perhaps you’re all using QR Codes so much that it’s not a new technology to you.

(I also want to apologise to Australian peeps learning about 23 Mobile Things.  My Introduction to QR Codes was a little NZ-centric!  I would love to hear what Australian library peeps are doing with QR codes, and how much they are infiltrating society in Australia)

Raewyn-the-librarian briefly commented on how she has used QR Codes on bookmarks to promote events.  Sounds great!

Karentoittoit wrote a really interesting blog post about QR Codes could be used in the Radio Archive world, with some awesome creative ideas.  (I love the idea about QR Codes on archival items, pointing to the metadata in cataloguing systems!  How cool would that be!  Having QR codes link to audio and sounds from a radio archive would also be brilliant!).  The potential for QR Codes providing information about archival items is significant IMHO.  I also think that if this technology is a way to get more people to use their library, then that’s awesome.

Can you imagine it?

* a display in a bus station or train station of new books or e-books that a local public library has.  By scanning the code, people could link straight through to the library catalogue record for that item, or for e-books, link straight through to a page where they could borrow the item out (or request it).

* museums replacing or augmenting written information signs with QR Codes that give people more information about what they are looking at.  Museums and libraries could also create fun activities where kids have to go around and scan all the QR Codes and find out the answer to particular questions.  Loaning a smartphone to a kid to do this while they are in the library is so much more cool and engaging than just giving them a worksheet that they have to complete.

*being able to translate foreign language materials (especially those not written using the alphabet) into English through scanning a QR code that’s been attached to the item?

I know there are tertiary institute libraries that have sent students on a treasure hunt of the library, asking them to scan QR Codes to get words or information that will help them solve a puzzle.  My own institution, Unitec Institute of Technology, in Auckland, has done this very successfully.  This is so much more fun than a tour of a library building, where one person is talking the whole time.  It may also increase retention of information.

I wonder whether anyone has put QR Codes on their business cards.  My organisation hasn’t facilitated that, but some others might have.

I think that replacing a library with QR Codes, as per what’s been done in Klagenfurt, Austria, is taking things too far.  I’m also not convinced by the idea of adding a QR Code to a tombstone or burial plaque to provide more information about the person interred.  Shouldn’t people be allowed to rest in peace?  But then if you were on holiday and you were visiting the burial site of a well-known person, it could be interesting!

No, QR Codes are not perfect.  They can be hard to read at times.  However, I think they definitely have their uses, and galleries, libraries, archives & museums are in a great position to make the most of this technology.

I hope that you’ve learnt something new about QR Codes, and that you now go out and play!

Thanks for learning about QR Codes with me –

QR Code

This excellent wrap-up post was written by Adrian Jenkins – thank you for opening and closing this week for us 🙂 – Abigail.

Social Reading: Goodreads & Library Thing

15 Jul

Social reading is “actually quite simple: people want to share what they have read with other people and receive feedback about their thoughts and ideas.” (Mennella, 2001)
Two social reading platforms are GoodReads and Library Thing. These services allow Readers to create a catalogue of the books they own, have read and intend to read. These catalogues are shared with the GoodReads community along with star ratings and reviews.
These networks also allow readers to “be their own librarian” common features include the ability to:

  • Gather metadata about your collection
  • Track your reading and list your to do read pile
  • Arrange your collection on virtual shelves or by tagging in ways that make sense to you
  • Connect to other readers or groups and get recommendations from them
  • Rate and review books you’re read
  • Participate in Book Club style discussions of authors, works or genres
  • Access prepub and free copies of books for review

Both networks also offer Facebook and twitter integration for those who like to share more widely.


  • Sign up for a Goodreads, Library Thing or other social reading account. Having trouble choosing have a look at Library Thing vs Goodreads by Amanda Nelson of Book Riot. (nearly a year old so take with a pinch of salt gives a nice sense of the different flavours of each service)
  • Download the Goodreads app and experience the geeky pleasure of using a barcode reader recreationally
  • Join a group on Goodreads or Library Thing and compare the activity to in person bookclubs you offer or attend.



  • Could you use for social reading tools in your library?
  • Compare this current openness about reading history with the protests by Librarians against of the patriot act. Do your clients have the digital literacy to protect their privacy and personal brand when sharing their reading lives?
  • Do companies like Goodreads and Library Thing who are providing services traditionally associated with libraries present a threat or an opportunity for Libraries

This post is based on Thing 10.

#anz23mthings Twitter Chat 3: Round up

13 Jul

Big thanks to everyone who joined our chat on Tuesday. It was great to have so many voices sharing ideas and opinions! Our topic was Plugged In: the pros & cons of always being connected. Amongst other things, we discussed the benefits of being connected, including while mobile, and the greatness of social media for connecting and sharing with others. We thought about playing nicely online to protect yourself and your work/association’s image. It seems we want to master making mobile connectedness – and social media itself – work for us, and not be used by it. We agreed that being connected must be balanced carefully with unplugged time, and it was great to hear how and when people disconnect.
The chat was just how we like it: fast, insightful, humorous and helpful 🙂

Here are the questions we discussed:

Q1. Mobile devices mean we can be connected ALL the time. What are the positives? #anz23mthings

Q2. What are the negatives? #anz23mthings

Q3. How and when do you disconnect? #anz23mthings

Q4. Is your social media image one of your most valuable job-seeking tools? #anz23mthings

Q5. Do you worry about how your social media image may represent your employer? #anz23mthings

The archived chat is very long, so we have put it on a separate page. We’re disappointed (nay, annoyed!) to reveal the Data Gremlins have eaten the first hour, so unfortunately we only have from 7.30pm (AEDT) onwards. To be precise, we can’t make GrabChat collect the first hour despite many attempts, by many, on many devices, on many browsers. #grrrr
(If you have any hot tips as to how to recover these tweets, please direct message @anz23mthings. Thanks!)

That aside, we’d love to hear what you thought of the chat!

Please leave us a comment 🙂

Announcing the winner of the first caption contest…

9 Jul

Thank you to all who took part in our Caption Contest last week – there were some very creative responses and we had a good giggle over them.

But there can only be one winner so after extensive deliberation, the judging panel of two (Kate and I) have made our decision.

The winner is – drum roll please –

Jenny Harper!

Jenny Harper submitted her Harry Potter-inspired caption via our Facebook page. So she has her name in bold and has eternal bragging rights – at least until our next caption contest! Well done Jenny 🙂

Winning caption by Jenny Harper

“Immediately, Janice regretted her little experiment with the Harry Potter book. It was quite a scramble to locate the antidote before the students arrived, especially without opposable thumbs.” Jenny Harper.

It was tough picking a winner with so many excellent captions so there is one runner up.

The runner up is

(without further ado)

Chris Arthur! @ChrisJArthur

We loved his clever pun on cookies.

Runner-up caption by Chris Arthur

“My owner they were removing cookies from the computer. I want!” Chris Arthur.

Thank you to everyone who participated; we hope you enjoyed the challenge and we are looking forward to the next caption contest soon!

#anz23mthings Twitter Chat 3: Plugged In! Pros and cons of always being connected

8 Jul

We’d love it if you could join us TOMORROW, Tuesday 9th July at 8:30pm (NZT) / 6:30pm (AEST) for our third twitter chat!

All you have to do is start chatting on twitter and use the #anz23mthings hashtag. To maximise the awesomeness, follow the hashtag via the twitter search tool.

Plug it in by Ed Schipul on Flickr

Here is what we’ll be chatting about, in case you’d like to think about some tweets in advance. Or for bonus points, you could schedule some tweets if you can’t make it 😉

Q1. Mobile devices mean we can be connected ALL the time. What are the positives? #anz23mthings 

Q2. What are the negatives? #anz23mthings 

Q3. How and when do you disconnect? #anz23mthings

Q4. Is your social media image one of your most valuable job-seeking tools? #anz23mthings

Q5. Do you worry about how your social media image may represent your employer? #anz23mthings

We’ll try to keep the chat to an hour (or two) but feel free to keep chatting on without us.

After the first great chats, we’re excited to be sharing ideas again. But don’t worry if you can’t make it; we will archive and blog the chat.
Chat with you on Tuesday – and remember the #anz23mthings hashtag!

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